Singapore FDI control
Singapore FDI control

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Singapore FDI control
  • 1. What is the applicable legislation?
  • 2. Which government or other body (or bodies) reviews foreign investments?
  • 3. What is the scope of the foreign investment regime? Does it only apply to specific sectors or types of investors (eg foreign or non-EU / non-WTO)? Are there specific rules for certain types of investors (eg state-owned enterprises)?
  • 4. What are the triggers or thresholds for the regime to apply? What types of transactions are caught? Is there a minimum level of shareholding or a control test that applies?  Are there any other thresholds that need to be met (e.g. based on turnover or market shares)?
  • 5. Are there any exceptions that may apply?
  • 6. Is there any discretion to review transactions that do not meet any thresholds for review?
  • 7. What are the grounds for review, eg public or national security or other grounds?
  • 8. What level of discretion do the relevant authorities have to approve or reject transactions? Is there scope for any other body to intervene?
  • 9. Where a transaction is caught by the regime, is notification mandatory and must closing be suspended pending clearance?
  • More...

A conversation with Toby Grainger, managing partner, Eric Lai, associate, Pamela Chan, associate, and Sam Ng from the Singapore office of international law firm CMS on key issues on foreign direct investment (FDI) control in Singapore.

1. What is the applicable legislation?

Singapore has a relatively open investment regime compared to other countries in the region and does not have specific umbrella legislation on foreign direct investments.

However, there are certain sector-specific laws which govern new investments into regulated sectors and activities (eg banking or financial institutions or ownership in the newspaper publishing industry), as elaborated further below.

2. Which government or other body (or bodies) reviews foreign investments?

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is the government body that generally oversees matters relating to trade and investments, with a mission to ensure that Singapore’s economy continues to be competitive and is able to attract investments. The Economic Development Board is the lead government agency under the MTI that formulates investment promotion policies and plans to develop the Singapore economy, including facilitating and supporting foreign investments into Singapore.

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) is another statutory board under the MTI which administers, inter alia, competition-related legislation including the control of practices which may have an adverse effect on competition in Singapore. As such, certain foreign investments could, if they exhibit anti-competitive aspects, be

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